The campaign for the provincial vote has started.

While PM Jacinda Ardern dined in Napier to celebrate Covid restrictions lifting further, Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule and several other National MPs went to the Chook and Filly Pub to hear from struggling Hawke's Bay farmers.

Yule, who has risen to the point where he may not even have to retain his Tukituki seat to stay in Parliament, said he was confident National still had the ear, and vote, of provincial New Zealand.

"The current Government is big on making promises and not delivering on them," Yule said.


"Like the Napier to Wairoa line. There hasn't been a single train on that line.

"Our election campaign will focus on rebuilding the New Zealand economy and ensure that every dollar we spend is focused on the best economical use of New Zealand resources."

New National Party leader Todd Muller yesterday announced his first campaign promise - National will offer businesses a $10,000 payment for taking on more staff if it wins the election.

Muller also promised not to get rid of 90-day trials and said there would be "regular, incremental" increases in the minimum wage.

On Tuesday, Yule was allocated the Local Government portfolio and moved up from 44 to No 30 on National's list.

Yule said his campaign will focus on issues that matter to Hawke's Bay, like the ongoing drought.

"I am happy that farmers have been given a small subsidy of $500,000 [from the Government]," Yule said.

"But put that in context - there are 3000 farmers in Hawke's Bay impacted by the worst drought the region has seen for a while. You spread that $500,000 between the farmers and that's about $1500 per farmer.


"That's not a lot. I talked to farmers who have spent $100,000 on feed alone. And then they've had to halve their stock numbers. Farmers are feeling hard done by by the current Government."

Asked what he would do differently, Yule said he would consider the impact of government policies.

"The current Government is not preparing to slow down in its regulation-making powers," he said.

"I would have delayed policies like freshwater management, and I would have loosened up on rules and regulations around consents and compliance until the farmers got back on their feet.

"Not enough is being done to help the farmers considering the current Government wants farming to lead the way in Covid-19 recovery."

The other issues he intended to focus on as part of his election campaign included gangs and housing, he said.